SAINT Elizabeth of Portugal
She was married to King Denis of Portugal, by whom she had two children. She set up hospitals, orphanages, and other institutions, patiently endured her husband’s infidelities. On her husband’s death in 1325 she retired from public affairs and devoted herself to prayer and the service of the poor
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 46: 2
All peoples, clap your hands. Cry to God with shouts of joy!
O God, who through the grace of adoption, chose us to be children of light; grant, we pray, that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Genesis 19:15-29
The angels urged Lot, “Come, take your wife and these two daughters of yours, or you will be overwhelmed in the punishment of the town.” And as he hesitated, the men took him by the hand, and his wife and his two daughters, because of the pity the Lord felt for him. They led him out and left him outside the town. As they were leading him out he said, “Run for your life. Neither look behind you nor stop anywhere on the plain. Make for the hills if you would not be overwhelmed.” “No, I beg you, my lord,” Lot said to them, “your servant has won your favour and you have shown great kindness to me in saving my life. But I could not reach the hills before this calamity overtook me, and death with it. The town over there is near enough to flee to, and is a little one. Let me make for that – is it not little? – and my life will be saved.” He answered, “I grant you this favour too, and will not destroy the town you speak of. Hurry, escape to it, for I can do nothing until you reach it.” That is why the town is named Zoar. As the sun rose over the land and Lot entered Zoar, the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord. He overthrew these towns and the whole plain, with all the inhabitants of the towns, and everything that grew there. But the wife of Lot looked back, and was turned into a pillar of salt. Rising early in the morning Abraham went to the place where he had stood before the Lord, and looking towards Sodom and Gomorrah, and across all the plain, he saw the smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. Thus it was that when God destroyed the towns of the plain, he kept Abraham in mind and rescued Lot out of disaster when he overwhelmed the towns where Lot lived.
R/ Your love, O Lord, is before my eyes.
Examine me, Lord, and try me; O test my heart and my mind, for your love is before my eyes and I walk according to your truth.
Do not sweep me away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men in whose hands are evil plots, whose right hands are filled with gold.
As for me, I walk the path of perfection. Redeem me and show me your mercy. My foot stands on level ground: I will bless the Lord in the assembly.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps 147: 12
Alleluia, alleluia! O praise the Lord, Jerusalem! He sends out his word to the earth. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 8:23-27
Jesus got into the boat followed by his disciples. Without warning a storm broke over the lake, so violent that the waves were breaking right over the boat. But he was asleep. So they went to him and woke him saying, “Save us, Lord, we are going down!” And he said to them, “Why are you so frightened, you men of little faith?” And with that he stood up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and all was calm again. The men were astounded and said, “Whatever kind of man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him.”
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who graciously accomplish the effects of your mysteries, grant, we pray, that the deeds by which we serve you may be worthy of these sacred gifts. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 102: 1
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all within me, his holy name.
Prayer after Communion
May this divine sacrifice we have offered and received fill us with life, O Lord, we pray, so that, bound to you in lasting charity, we may bear fruit that lasts for ever. Through Christ our Lord.
The boat can symbolize our life. Jesus joins us in it every time we invite him in prayer or when he invites himself through the Holy Spirit who accompanies us. The boat passes through the sea, the seat of evil and difficulties, like the revolting waves that distress the disciples. “Lord, save us! We are lost”; this cry of distress is also ours, in the midst of our existential worries. Just as the sea will never cease to be sea in its symbolic sense, our boat remains so, with its challenges of violent winds, but also of the joy of having Christ at our side. Indeed, Jesus helps us to cross over to the other side. Even if the sea is raging, he stands up, calms the winds and gives us peace.